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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Dec 4, 2006 7:34am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 3 most under-rated GD shows of all time

I would second 4-12-78 being one of the THE great underrated shows ever. I don't have the Dead Database so I don't know whether that or my other choices would be in their top rated or not, but based on the fact that I only found my way to 4-12-78 very recently and have never heard tremendous mention of the following shows before, I would add to the list of undernoted AND excellent shows:

5-1-81 Hampton, VA., which I think gets overlooked mostly based on what appears to be a very ordinary set list. But the show itself, the versions of the songs played, including a mind blowing LIG>DEAL to end set one, and a confident run of 2nd set gems like THE WHEEL make it a keeper. In fact, I'll put the first set of 5-1-81 up against any of that Brent era.

9-25-81, Lehigh, PA. Another first set monster and while not as pristinely played as 5-1-81 (lyrical flubs in Fire, for exapmle) this show is more ambitious in the places it tries to go. The Scarlet>Fire alone fascinates me in this show b/c it takes chances most others don't. Jerry takes many routes to get to the fire, some are left dangling, other re-connect with the whole, but the splashdown into Fire is just stellar, and drives the Fire ahead into a version that doesn't lose momentum, in fact gains it, unlike some others that feel worn down from the weight of the Scarlet before it. But the 2nd set just rages on from there and really is a winner. Tough to find a clean sounding version, though. The AUD is OK, SBD leaves something to be desired.

I've often thought if you took set one from 5-1-81 and combined it w/set two of 9-25-81 you'd have the perfect Brent era Dead show.

I'll also throw in a mention for 10-30-77, (which is the following night from my all time favorite show, which I can't call underrated b/c I refuse to call it anything but magnificent).

So hard for many '77 shows to stand out because of May alone, not to mention that Fall run and the killer Winterland finish. But this one is a quiet gem. Beautiful Peggy-O, stunningly fantastic LazyLightning>Supplication, and a solid Playing sandwich in the 2nd set w/'77-standardly great Other One, Wheel, Wharf Rat in the middle.